If you haven’t watched Tony Parker’s documentary on Netflix, I suggest you tune in and do so. Not only will it help you improve your French, but it will work those tear ducts as well. I had to stop halfway just because I was getting so emotional watching the career of the San Antonio Spurs legend, even if “The Final Shot” was set up a bit too similar to another documentary from another all-time great.
Is that so surprising, though? I mean, Tony Parker modeled his whole career after Michael Jordan. I knew he loved the GOAT, but before watching the documentary I didn’t know he was that inspired by him. Once it started to reveal Tony’s attitude towards the game and winning, it became way more clear to me how influenced he was by MJ. It just goes to show he took that abuse from Pop in the beginning of his career not because he loved it, but because he knew that he could take it and prove himself to be a winner. His attitude is that of a lion, and lions are kings, after all.
The parallels between MJ and Tony is very surprising to me. MJ was so focused on winning that he was often viewed as a jerk, and I would be lying if I said that Tony didn’t seem like that at times.
This is no disrespect towards the two of them. Sometimes, leaders have to be a bit cold towards others to prioritize the end goal, which has always been winning for Tony. You could see it when he spent his time with the French National team as they battled to get a gold medal in FIBA. He would rub his teammates the wrong way, like the time he said “I can’t do everything.” While that upset some, and wasn’t the most diplomatic choice of words, he felt like winning was everything, and he wanted that to stick with his teammates.
It was also cool to see how Pop influenced the type of leader Parker became. Pop loves his players, despite whatever Stephen Jackson may say, so when he is busting his players, it is always for what he believes is in their best interest. While Tony wasn’t as in-your-face as Pop was, he was just as stern of a leader, whether it was in San Antonio, France, or that strange season in Charlotte. TP was and continues to be a great leader, which brings me to my main point.
Parker is currently a majority shareholder and president of the male and female French basketball club ASVEL. In 2019, the men’s team won the French League, the French Cup, and were the runner-up in A Leader’s Cup, showcasing the ownership and management skills he possesses. In the documentary, TP was asked about being a part of the Spurs’ organization, to which he replied that he would love to, if given the chance by the Spurs.
It makes me wonder, what if the Spurs brought Parker back somehow? This wouldn’t be simply because he’s a Spurs legend, but because of the value he would bring. If ASVEL continues to thrive, the thought of bringing Parker into the organization isn’t just exciting, but plausible. And given the state the Spurs are in, one which seems to be changing directions from DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge leading the way to a Boston Celtics style with their youngsters having more control, why not consider having an NBA champion, the “fiery francophile Parisian torpedo,” be a part of the organization? In fact, Parker’s leadership may be an asset in the near future.
After all, there will eventually come a day when Pop won’t be around anymore. Va Spurs Va.